Call for Artist Talks: The Future for West Yorkshire’s Regional Democracy

Deadline: 05/01/2020  |  Published: 02/12/2019  |  City: Huddersfield  |  Region: West Yorkshire  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  Andrew Wilson

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We invite presentations of your work to give us ideas, inspiration and tools for citizens to create a flourishing West Yorkshire from the ground up.

9.30am - 4.15pm Friday 31 January 2019

Deadline for proposals: midnight, Sunday 5 January 2020

Organisers: Tiffany R. Holloman, Jack Simpson, Ryan Swift, LaTonia Siler-Holloman (University of Leeds), Andrew Wilson (Same Skies regional democracy collaborative and Hannah Directory)

Call for Artist Talks

West Yorkshire (the towns and cities of Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield, Leeds, Wakefield and surrounding areas in the north of England) has a population of 2.5 million people and one of the largest regional economies in England.

But in terms of the devolution process that has been underway in England since 2013, it has fallen behind Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and other comparable areas.

Given that England is widely acknowledged to be the most centralised established democracy in the world [1], the citizens of West Yorkshire are left with far less collective political authority over, and responsibility for, their common wellbeing and the place where they live and work than they would have in any other European country.

We want to change that, and we invite presentations of your work to give us ideas, inspiration and tools for citizens to create a flourishing West Yorkshire from the ground up.

We welcome ideas and experience from anywhere in the world, and from any field.

Presentations from social practice, community arts and active citizen projects are encouraged.

We see the challenge of creating a flourishing, self-sustaining West Yorkshire as having two parts: 

  • What should we do, and do better, in our region? That activity might be in any field, including the climate emergency, transport, racial justice, economic democracy, education and skills, sport, democracy and governance, the arts and more.

  • How can we actively shift the balance of England away from the bankers' capitalism of central London and the Home Counties 


The symposium will consist of the following four panel sessions: 

  • Space and Governance: What form should regional devolution to West Yorkshire take?

  • West Yorkshire youth: How might they contribute to regional democracy?

  • The right to the riding; who decides what happens in West Yorkshire / how can we create wider participation?

  • Is West Yorkshire a Colony of London? 


After these four panels, the final session will be a series of small group discussions in which we try and synthesise the knowledge shared on the day, and construct some next steps. Next steps might include gathering further existing expertise, new research directions, and public activity by Same Skies. The day will finish with a performance by Katz Mulk

We will confirm selected presentations on Friday 10 January. Support for travel costs is available. 

[1] Winnie Agbonlahor. 2015. UK ‘almost most centralised developed country’, says Treasury chief. Retrieved March 19, 2019 from https://www.globalgovernmentforum.com/uk-most-centralised-developed-country-says-treasury-chief/

Deadline for proposals: midnight, Sunday 5 January 2020

Contact the curator
Who is eligible for this opportunity?
We welcome ideas and experience from anywhere in the world, and from any field. Presentations from social practice, community arts and active citizen projects are encouraged.
When is the deadline?
midnight, Sunday 5 January 2020
When is the delivery date?
9.30am-4.15pm Friday 31 January 2019
How much does it cost?
Submission is free.
Are there payments to artists?
Some support for travel costs is available.
What publicity will be provided as part of the opportunity?
Press release to regional and national news media, social media promotion.

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